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Mayor Melton and Hard Rock Casino announce $3 Million donation to revitalize downtown Gary

Future state concept artwork of Downtown Gary

In a joint effort to stimulate economic growth in downtown Gary, Mayor Eddie Melton and Matt Schuffert, President of Hard Rock Northern Indiana, announced this week a substantial $3M donation from Hard Rock.

This generous contribution will be allocated directly towards blight elimination within Gary’s Metro Transit Development District (TDD), which is primarily located around downtown Gary’s Broadway Corridor. The announcement was made at a press conference held at Gary City Hall.

The Hard Rock donation is an important part of the blight elimination matching grant program established by Indiana SB 434, an economic development bill authored by Mayor Melton during his tenure as State Senator and passed in 2023. The bill makes available two grants of $3M dollars to the City of Gary for blight elimination within its Metro TDD, in 2024 and 2025 respectively, if Gary brings $6M dollars in matching funds.

Mayor Melton expressed his vision for the transformation of downtown Gary. “This catalytic donation from Hard Rock marks a new chapter in Gary’s story, one where we begin to turn the page on blight and write our future. A future in which Gary residents see real change and feel a renewed sense of pride in our downtown Broadway Corridor. With this $3M contribution, we are planting seeds of hope and growth for our downtown.”

According to Hard Rock Casino President Matt Schuffert, “Hard Rock is pleased to support Mayor Melton’s mission to improve the economic development of the City of Gary by demolishing the blighted properties that currently stand in the way. Our announcement today of Hard Rock’s transfer of $3 million dollars to help support the City’s contributions to the Northwest Indiana RDA’s blighted property demolition fund confirms our mission of ‘All Is One,’ which has been Hard Rock’s motto throughout local and global communities since 1971. Giving back is core to the Hard Rock brand, and Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has been making good on that mission since we opened our doors in Gary in 2021.”

Sherri Ziller, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) was present to underscore the RDA’s pivotal role in regional economic development and in administering the Transit Development District Program. The President of Gary Common Council Tai A. Adkins also spoke about the Common Council’s commitment to work with the Melton Administration on critical redevelopment efforts moving forward.

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